The Valencia Times
We sat down with Margarita Solaya to ask her about some of her priorities if elected Prime Minister in June. Here’s what she said.
Written and interviewed by Stephanie Sancet, senior political correspondent
When incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Areces Garcia announced he wouldn’t seek a third term after facing criticism from the rise of prices due to port closures, Margarita Solaya eagerly jumped into the race. The newly-elected Majority Leader of the General Court previously ran for Prime Minister in a 2019 special election though lost Areces Garcia in the primary.
For Solaya, making change is in her blood. Originally from Aragon, Solaya received received an opportunity to attend the University of Valencia at age 16. She made her way through the inner political circle of both Valencia and Huelva before eventually moving back to Aragon.
We sat down Solaya in an interview concerning her campaign. Here’s our conversation:
Sancet: Hi! Firstly, Ms. Solaya, it’s an honor to interview you. I’d like to simply ask you a few questions regarding your platform and what your first actions will be if you reach the Borbón.
Solaya: Sure. It’s an honor to be interviewed by one of Cadiz’s finest writers and one of Cadiz’s most notable publications. Let it begin!
Sancet: The Port of Huelva has caused recent problems nationwide in the past few weeks. Late last year, it was closed for maintenance issues. What would be your plan in dealing with the port if you reach office?
Solaya: Well, yes, of course. I’d like to first launch an official investigation into the port’s current leadership. I would also be supportive of rebuilding a new, more eco-friendly and innovative port in the area. There’s a lot of land over there that is owned by the port (and the government too) that could be used to create a new import and export hub.
Sancet: You mentioned the environment so I guess we will roll right into that subject. What are your plans for how Cadiz wil fight the growing issue of global warming and negative environmental impacts on our world?
Solaya: You would be surprised how many carbon emissions enter the air from plants in Santiago which pollute the natural areas of Los Oviedos. Or how bad of an impact the Port of Huelva has on Huelva. Just to put it in perspective, these power plants and the port have been operating even before Cadiz was a democracy. We need to build clean power plants in areas that do not have an effect on the surrounding environment. We should knock down our nuclear and coal plants in both Santiago and Aragon to create newer clean energy ones. Not only is this a win for the environment, but it will also create a plethora of good-paying jobs in the area.
Sancet: Interesting. What about your plans for education?
Solaya: I do not mean to publicly taunt Mr. Areces Garcia on the important issue of education however we must be cognizant of the failures his administration had in the education field. Turnover rates for teachers are at an all-time high. We’re not paying teachers enough. We’re not giving them enough benefits for them. Teachers are the ones who are gifting the knowledge to the future of Cadiz. We need a skilled force of educators to work in that field. However, one of the many reasons that we are short of teachers is because it’s extremely challenging to become one at a public school. I’d support having programs that make it easier to instruct in the classroom however due to constitutional laws, I cannot do that as Prime Minister. That is a job of the autonomous communities’ Minister of Education.
Sancet: Lastly, how does it feel to be, if elected of course, the first female Prime Minister in Cadisian history?
Solaya: Firstly, shout out to all of those tireless advocates who came before me. Even though I am technically the first female Prime Minister, we have had many activists and advocates who have promoted gender equality and women’s rights here in the Kingdom. I would be honored to serve as Cadiz’s first female Prime Minister. Truly honored. But let’s not forget the hard work of those who came before who got me to where I am today. I grew up in poverty in a small village in Aragon. I worked hard, went to university, got a job, and came back to my community to turn things around through non-profit work. I want to mold Cadiz as a democratic and loud country on the Pacifica stage. Let’s make Cadiz a beacon of democratic principles. Thank you.